Industry: Logistics and customs brokerage.
Project duration: May 2019 – July 2019 – discovery phase; from March 2020 – the development phase.
Size of the project team: 6 experts.
Software product: Custom mobile applications for Android and iOS.
Expertise delivered: Product Development (the analysis of the client’s business processes, product hypothesis validation, creation of functional specifications for the product to be developed), UI/UX design, custom software development services, integration of the delivered mobile apps with third-party software (Odoo CRM, multiple payment systems, and Customs services).
Our client is a market-leading Eastern-European logistics and customs brokerage that offers a complete package of transportation and logistics, customs, and related financial services. The company was looking to relieve the load on their truck drivers by facilitating the complicated legal work they needed to handle at the customs on a regular basis.
To achieve their goal, in May of 2019, the company approached SPD Group to develop a B2C/ B2B mobile application called SmartWay, planned as part of the client’s global Ecosystem intended to enable truck drivers to send and receive all the required documents in electronic format, and thus help them complete their legal work more effortlessly and expeditiously.
We started by putting together a project team that initially consisted of 2 Business Analysts and a Software Architect. During the project’s later stages, the composition of our project team changed to include a BA/Product Manager, three Android developers, a Quality Assurance Engineer, a Quality Automation Engineer, and a Java Developer.
The project kicked off with an intensive discovery phase, during which we held a series of refinement sessions with the client’s business representatives and key stakeholders. The business processes-related and other information we had thoroughly collected was then aggregated into Qml charts, BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) diagrams, UML diagrams, NFR and functional specifications. As a result, SPD Group’s experts came up with several possible options for the solution to be delivered.
The option we deemed as the optimal one was covering part of the required capabilities (and the client’s internal business processes in particular) with the off-the-shelf functionality provided by Odoo CRM. The rest of the required functionality had to be provided by a custom-developed mobile application. Jointly with the client, we opted for a native Android / iOS apps as the most fitting option.
Soon after the kick-off of the development effort, the concept of the SmartWay mobile app was presented at the Ukrainian Startup Fund’s 14th Pitch Day. Our client became the runner-up among the Ukrainian IT-startups that made presentations, and thus obtained additional funding for the project.
Integrating the mobile application being developed with the Odoo CRM was challenging in several ways. We had to actively interact with the client’s Python development team, as well as the 3d-party Odoo development team engaged in the implementation of Odoo CRM and collaborative development of the mobile app as a part of the client’s Ecosystem.
As a result of several creative disagreements with them (like, for instance, those related to the choice between modifying the API or modifying the Odoo modules in order to eliminate the differences in the data structures) we jointly hammered out an array of highly effective integration-related decisions and managed to maximize the solution’s performance in this department.
As the client made a requirement that the mobile application be developed with the future possibility of adding ML capabilities in mind, we adjusted the app’s data structure accordingly.
To reduce the amount of the manual Quality Assurance in the project, our experts created automated tests that have allowed us to reduce this amount by 70%.
Currently, SPD Group’s project team continues building new modules for the client’s application. Besides, our experts are also involved in supporting the client in their meetings with the Ukrainian customs aimed to promote the Smart Way application as a nation-wide standard in the Logistics and Customs Brokerage industries.
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SPD Group’s project team has used the following tech stack to implement the project:
- Kotlin Android
- Spring WebFlux
- Google Docs
To quickly collect and store data of the same type, we opted for the non-relational, document-oriented database MongoDB.
For achieving maximum efficiency in using the server capabilities in the interactions between the mobile application and Odoo, our experts employed the Spring WebFlux technology.
Implementing the Android version of the Smart Way application has allowed the client’s truck drivers to handle the legal work to be completed at the customs with much less hassle and at a higher speed. It has also improved the client’s customer experiences and helped the company strengthen their reputation as a leading provider of logistics and customs brokerage services on the national market.
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